Billy G—The 'G' is for GONE
(pic courtesy of msnbc.com)
Well Billy Gillispie is out at Kentucky.
While it doesn't come as a surprise, what does come as a surprise was hearing that the meeting today, held at President Lee Todd's mansion, lasted only 18 minutes.
And maybe the green Chevy Silverado that reportedly dropped him off and picked him up, had Texas license plates and an Texas A&M decal, which reveals where Gillispie's true heart beats.
A 4:30 p.m. news conference is scheduled and they are not allowing live coverage of the event.
UPDATE: 4:30 news conference WILL BE SHOWN LIVE via WLEX TV update (4:11pm)
So yet again we are inevitably going to face ANOTHER transition year with Wildcats in 2009-2010 with another coaching change.
So who's the next coach going to be? We've all heard the three names that have been thrown out there— Calipari, Ford, and Donovan— but here's who I believe is also being considered for the job and may cause the decision to be longer... much longer...than we may be used to in the past.
From what I understand, UK Boosters want Rick Pitino back. Point blank. Straight up. No nonsense. They apparently told Pitino to name his price and it's a done deal, but Pitino reportedly had said for UK to go talk to Calipari.
But the Boosters don't want him. Basically, Pitino told them to talk to Ford and Donovan first before coming back to discuss the potential of him returning to Kentucky.
Now all of this is hearsay. Do I believe this happened? Certainly I do.
Reportedly, the Louisville athletic department actually has embraced the idea of Pitino leaving for UK because Pitino has already brought prominence back to the Cardinals program (and a 2009 championship pending).
I've heard they certainly wouldn't fight for Pitino to stay there, and Pitino himself actually has expressed his desire to come back to Lexington where he developed so much success before belting for the NBA.
He realized his mistake and what he had going here at UK and wants to come back as head coach of UK again.
Do I believe this is true. Certainly.
Pitino has expressed his mistake for leaving UK publicly before, and in fact, he has never publicly said anything negative when speaking about Kentucky or anything UK related at all.
This displays a lot of respect for UK that Pitino still has which makes me believe when a man is that nice to a fan base, which at times has been very ugly to him, he truly loves this place.
Now I believe I am of the MAJORITY that would actually embrace Pitino back to UK. The media can spin it any way they want.
Now, back to Gillispie. What happened?
Well first off, it was a rushed decision. Personally, I didn't like the decision, which maybe contributes to why I've layed low on this blog for awhile now.
I've tried to embrace the change but, ultimately, Gillispie's demeanor and public attitude is mainly why I don't like him.
Secondly, I think he's phony. From day one I've admitted that I don't think he has UK in his best interests. I think he purposely over works his players when they come out flat in games.
I think he's rude in front of cameras and acts like he knows it all, like he's a God and he doesn't have to dish out any pertinent explanations other than the wussy excuses like "well we didn't play well enough" crap.
At some point Gillispie has to take responsibility, but he has never taken true responsibility at all for the program.
Saying 'I take full responsibility' in front cameras doesn't cut it.
As the coach of UK, you need to elaborate what you did wrong and give the fans and the community some respect. Gillispie didn't do that at all. I firmly believe what everyone else is now confirming, Gillispie wasn't the right fit in Lexington.
Then why did UK hire him? I don't know.
Part of the reasoning behind it I believe, is how the media outlets portrayed Gillispie as this coaching 'God' in Texas and immediately threw his name in the mix of possible successors to Tubby Smith, as at the time UK was rumored to be getting rid of Tubby.
The other part of it is Mitch Barnhart. I don't think he's using his resources effectively enough to make the right decision. Common sense says to think things through, investigate, interview, interview again, interview again, investigate some more before you make a decision on who your next coach is going to be for the storied Kentucky basketball program.
I feel Barnhart rushed his decisions mostly because of what the media 'made out' Gillispie to be, and partly because he wanted the process to end quickly so that the university could move forward.
I feel UK rushed too quickly to name Gillispie as head coach. TOO QUICKLY.
Now I'm glad Gillispie's gone. He never showed the type of genuine emotion you want to see out of your head coach during games.
He made odd substitutions. His stubbornness was a virus for this university. He over worked his players, not to say that has anything to do with certain injuries, but hey, it is what it is. And now it is OVER.
Patterson has played poorly as of late. Yet as the ambassador for this team, you expect Patterson to support Gillispie as the coach. Patterson is a class act, but honestly, the season showed its toll on Patterson and Meeks the last couple months.
You were in fantasy land if you thought Kentucky was going to go far in the NIT. Not when your offense revolves around just two guys who have been given the responsibility to put this team on their shoulders alone.
Give me one team who has won any basketball championship because of only two players. It's not going to happen, and if it does, it's an act of God.
For what it's worth, it's a smart decision by Barnhart to realize his mistake and part ways with Gillispie now.
Now it's time for this storied program to take its time, get the right guy for this job, and make an important hire.
Give the respect of making such a decision it's due process THIS TIME.
I'll be on the record as saying I'd love to have Rick Pitino back.
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